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Alan Turing statue in Manchester city centre is surrounded by flowers - here’s why

The memorial to the famous polymath is surrounded by beautiful blooms at this time each year - and it’s all for a good cause.

Visitors to Manchester city centre on Thursday (23 June) may have noticed the statue of maths genius Alan Turing surrounded by beautiful blooms.

The statue of the famed computer scientist in Sackville Gardens has flowers placed all around it at this time each year because 23 June was his birthday.

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Getting people to lay flowers around the memorial to the World War II codebreaker is co-ordinated by the charity eQuality Time, which tackles issues around inclusion.

The floral birthday present was first done in 2013 and since then the idea has raised more than £10,000 for Special Effect, a UK-based charity which uses video games and technology to enhance the quality of life of people with disabilities.

Bouquets of flowers surround the statue of Alan Turing in Sackville Gardens

Who was Alan Turing?

Alan Turing’s extraordinary career included working to decipher coded messages to help the Allied forces during World War II and playing a pioneering role in the development of computer science, some of which happened during his time at The University of Manchester.

However, he was also prosecuted for homosexual acts and subjected to chemical castration, which led to a public apology and then an official pardon in the 21st century.

He died aged 41 in 1954 from cyanide poisoning.

In addition, many of his achievements were not celebrated during his lifetime because a lot of his work was covered by the Official Secrets Act.

Dr Joseph Reddington, founder and CEO of eQuality Time, said: “Since 2013 this annual event has grown with more and more people coming together to celebrate Alan Turing’s life and legacy. A life that should have been celebrated during it.

“Small charities like Special Effect and eQuality Time rely on enthusiasm with which people support our activities, and we’re so grateful for every donation and bunch of flowers.”